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A Wisp of Smoke

“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.” ― Vincent van Gogh

Wildfires are once again turning our New Hampshire skies a milky white overcast, with a burnt orange sun. This looks extraordinary at sunrise and sunset, but never natural. And yet a wildfire is a natural occurrence, I suppose, if unduly influenced by humanity. A reminder of places changing a great distance away, yet close enough to change our place too.

How often people confuse our wisp of smoke for another fire. Though fire reveals itself in both subtle and apparent ways, we never really know what burns inside the soul of another. We often don’t know it ourselves.

Yet writing reveals. Pages become kindling, words provoke and burst into ideas, and passion plays with the muse to light up our minds and dance across the keyboard. We place ourselves into this cauldron willingly, and forge something transcendent by consequence of the heated ritual.

Drawn in by the slightest ember of idea, the writer coaxes it to a signal fire that others may see, if only they’ll turn their attention ever so slightly this way. Still, the beacon indicates nothing more than where we’ve been. For the artist is already gathering tinder to reveal what’s next.

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